1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”
Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the purpose of my life?” Or perhaps, “How can I best use the time I have been given to live life on earth?” For some, these questions are unanswerable... they struggle their entire lives trying to come to the true meaning and purpose for the life which we have been given.
Solomon was a great example of this type of person. King Solomon lived his life in pursuit of the answers to these questions. It was only in his old age, just prior to his death, that he came to an understanding of his purpose in life. You can read about his pursuit for these answers in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Do you desire to know the purpose of your life? Do you want to know the most fulfilling way to live your life on earth? Let's spend some time looking at the wisdom of Solomon as he instructs us on the true meaning to our life on earth. To do this, we must turn to the precious word of God… the book that answers for us some of the greatest of life’s mysteries.
(KJV) 12) And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh. 13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. 14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
(ESV) 12) My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13) The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
In this lesson we are only looking at one text from God’s Word. Although there are several texts that explain the true meaning to our life, these verses we find in Ecclesiastes gives us a clear and complete answer to our question.
Solomon, through experience, knew the importance and wide spread interest that life’s purpose creates. The issue was so important for King Solomon that he spent his entire lifetime pursuing its solution.
The book of Ecclesiastes is a diary that Solomon kept as he pursued the evasive solution. In his search for self-satisfaction, contentment and purpose for his life; he tried everything from the carnal pleasures of this world to wealth, education, the arts, political power, and other selfish pursuits, all to no avail.
In Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 we read….
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.
Solomon acknowledges that many books could be written about the life’s meaning, without completely explaining the subject. Likewise, in the search for life’s purpose, an individual could exhaust themselves while never coming to a satisfactory explanation of the secret to life.
By God’s grace alone, He allowed Solomon to attain what he had so diligently searched. Then, again in a display of His love and kindness to us, He allowed Solomon to accurately and concisely reveal the answer to the readers of His Word….
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Here, we find the conclusion of Solomon’s life long search. As Solomon presents it to us, he invites us to “hear” it. There are three different ways we can “hear” something… with our ears, with our minds, and with our hearts:
- Hearing with our ears – By this phrase, I am simply saying we can hear a truth without ever understanding it or applying it to our lives. The Bible refers to this type of hearing as “knowledge”.
- Hearing with our minds – By this I am referring to not only knowing something but coming to an recognition of its truthfulness, meaning and importance. The Bible describes this type of hearing as “understanding”.
- Hearing with our hearts – A simple way to express this is to sincerely attempt to apply this truth to our lives. In other words, it is to put in action the truth we have come to know and understand. The Bible describes this as “wisdom”.
- In this case, Solomon is definitely explaining to us the need to hear these teachings with our heart. Once we understand life’s purpose, we are to live it out in our day to day walk with the Lord.
(Proverbs 2:6 - “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”)
As we continue on in our text we find the treasure for which we have been searching…
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
Here we see Solomon gives us a two-fold explanation of the true reason for our creation and existence on earth:
- Fear God – The word translated “fear” carries with it the ideas of reverence, submission and distress.
- Keep His commandments – This phrase points to the need to come to an understanding of His desires for our life and then striving to fulfill those desires.
The above description of life’s meaning gives to us a wonderful cycle of godliness:
- By coming to a greater knowledge and understanding of God’s greatness, we find ourselves recognizing the need for greater submission to Him. (Isa 6:1-8)
- This greater submission then leads to increased obedience to His desires. (Psa 40:6-10)
- One of His greatest desires is glorification of him in all things. (2 Cor 4:14-15)
- Wanting to glorify Him leads us to a more complete knowledge and understanding of His greatness and the cycle automatically continues. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
Solomon now attempts to encourage us to apply this truth to our lives. He does this by pointing us to the final judgment that will take place following the second coming of Christ.
Here, we are told that every work that performed by mankind will be placed before the Judge of all creation. Whether we are lost and saved, we all will be judged based on the same criteria:
Rev 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Please note the two basic criteria in the final judgment:
- For both groups the first area of judgment will involve “the book of life”.
If our names are found in “the book of life” (a book containing the names of those who are chosen to eternal life through faith in the Lamb – Rev 13:8) we will spend an eternity living with our Lord and enjoying the eternal life which we have been given. If our name is not found in this book we will be consigned to eternity in the Lake of Fire – Rev 20:15, Rev 13:8)
- The next area of judgment will involve our works. By works, Solomon emphasizes this term involves our outward actions (“every work”) and the inward motives for our actions (“every secret thing”). For this judgment, I believe the 66 books of the Bible will be used (“the books”). A comparison of our works, and the principles found in the Bible will be compared. For the saved, a determination of the receipt of rewards will be determined. For the lost, a determination of level of eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire will be determined. (see also 2 Cor 5:9-11, 1 Cor 3:11-15)
(Note: some Bible teachers believe that Rev 20:11-12 is only speaking of the judgment of lost mankind at the end of the age. Even if this is so, the basic principles that are being applied in this judgment will be the same principles applied to saved mankind as well.)
The Word of God is so precious to us. Within the confines of its pages is found the answer to one of life’s most perplexing question, the true purpose behind mankind’s existence on earth.
By coming to an understanding of our true purpose, comes an understanding of need to honor and glorify our God by making Him the center of our life. By seeking to always please Him in both our motives and actions it allows us to prepare ourselves for the judgment of the last days.
The Apostle Paul summarized our responsibility in Col 3:1-9…
1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4) When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6) For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx
Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org